Advice for someone organizing a team?
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03-21-2013, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Originally Posted by
My husband is working with another person to organize a new team for the summer league. They've got about 8 people so far who are interested and need 8 more to have a full roster. They know a lot of people who play that level, so I have no doubt they'll get pretty close to a full lineup, and be able to fill any extra spots with free agents from the rink.
He's not really organized something like this before. The other person he's working with has agreed to be the rep with the rink, take care of the paperwork, etc. I'm sure that between the two of them they'll be able to make this happen, but I'd appreciate any input and suggestions as to how to make this go smoothly and be a positive experience for everyone involved!
As someone who is in his third season of organizing and running a team, let me tell you what works.
1. Scheduled payments
The average season (per player) here costs about $450, so I break it down into payments for people. For summer season, which starts mid-April, I break it down to easy to manage and easy to afford payments:
February 20 - $50 (the initial deposit which signifies commitment to the team)
March 18 - $140
April 19 - $160
May 17 - $100
As we're in the middle of the season now and most of the guys are returning, I just have them bring it to a game or meet up with me. Keep in mind that, as the organizer, there will be times that you have to remind/chase after people for money, it's just part of running a team. I usually circumvent this by offering people places to meet me (ie near my work/home) or meeting them if I'm in the neighborhood. Giving people the option to pay me in cash or via email money transfer helps as well.
On a side note, alot of players feel that a goalie shouldn't be charged...well pretty much all the time, which is something I disagree with. I charge my goalie $100 a season usually, because when someone makes a financial commitment to the team, he/she usually has a larger incentive to actually show up and play well. You may disagree but everyone runs their team differently, I find that it's worked really well for my team.
2. Roster / Lineup
Once you have the initial deposit with your players, it's usually good to figure out the lines for your team. After the first season, I had a good general of which players played well together and which didn't. I tried not to stick too many players on their off-wing unless it couldn't be helped and tried to make the lines balanced. I'm sure many other people will tell you to stack one line and have mediocre players on the other, but it's beer league, not the NHL. The first season, I ran 2 forward lines, but some of the guys were out of shape so I ramped it up to 3 lines for the second season (just 3 forward lines and 2 D lines). People seemed to enjoy it but line changes always seem to get screwed up, which is why I'm going back to 2 lines for the summer season. It really boils down to what kind of players you have on the team (attitude-wise mostly).
Just wanted to add that personality is very important, as well as attitude with the locker room. Try to get guys that are easy going but like to compete. If someone is every a problem, I talk to them in private after a game. If it continues, I call them them out after the game in front of everyone else. If it is still a problem, then I can simply refund the rest of their money and find another player. Obviously this option isn't always feasible, but I've never had an issue where it actually got to this point.
3. Paperwork / League
For the league that I play in, I have to fill out 3 different forms for registration on behalf of the team, which asks me everyone's age, past experience, and general skill level, etc. for balancing of divisions. At the beginning of the season we're put into whichever division the convener decides and then there's about 3-5 games we play before any "unbalanced" divisions are reorganized, the overly-skilled teams that are undefeated being moved up and the teams that are being pumped every game moved down, so there's great parity there. At the beginning of each game, we sign a roster sheet with our name/signature/number and that's pretty much all of the paperwork.
Alot of people will recommend online retailers, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $20-$50 per jersey for a decent set of jerseys. Alot of companies have a minimum number of jerseys that you have to order, so don't sweat about any extra jerseys as they can be used for spare players when your main guys are missing. More on that below. Back to jerseys! I ordered my jerseys (have the Bruins design but replace the black with Pink) from a local retailer and they were done in a month or so, so make sure to order them ahead of time if you can. Alot of places will do it faster, but I ordered a few months ahead of time just in case. The reason we got pink jerseys because most leagues require two sets of jerseys in case there's ever a color conflict. The most common colors you'll find in beer leagues is black, red, white, and blue. We've never had any issues with our one set of jerseys so that's why...
5. Spare Players
There will be times when guys bail last minute, or even ahead of time, and playing with a shorter bench can sometimes be frustrating, or sometimes not. I have a few spare jerseys in case we are ever short players, which looks nice but usually isn't mandatory. Most leagues are laid back enough where as long as the color isn't the same as the opposing team, your spares can wear a "similar" colored jersey as your teams'.
For playoffs, players have to play a minimum number of games (usually 5-7) to qualify to play in the playoffs. Keep this in mind (if your league is like this) when using spares. I used the same 3 or 4 spares all season and now they're helping us in the playoffs even though they aren't officially on the team, it's great.
6. Scheduling / Games / Attendance
I tried a Facebook group, worked decent, but alot of people aren't Facebook-savvy. I found that my system of just mass texting my entire team a few days before game time with something like this: "Next game Monday, March 25 @ 8:00 pm at Local Hockey Rink Goes Here, please confirm attendance" works really well, and 95% of the time, people respond within a reasonable time frame and it helps me figure out the spare situation in case someone can't make it.
People will bail on you last minute, people will get injured, people will give you lame excuses, and sometimes people will just not answer their phone. Don't let it frustrate you and make sure that you have fun, because in the end, we're all paying to have fun and play hockey.
If you have any other questions, let me know!
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